Last night Oshun and Red Goddess came to visit me in my dream.
All through the dream Oshun songhas played and I woke up with the tune still in my head.
Just before I woke up, I could hear the Red Goddess whispering in my ear “ They are too scared to look into the mirror because they can’t see what’s behind it”…
The dream reminded me of a little story Miryamdevi told me a long time ago.
The story of fire and water, the story of Oshun and Babalon.
“Let me tell you about Babalon, fire and water, that’s her, like Oshun, the orisha of rivers and sweet waters.
I’d been invited to a ceremony, a celebration of the great queen serpent, I thought it would be the perfect space to evoke Babalon, I needed to get some answers from her, The Scarlet Woman.
So I put on my red dress and made a little tobacco offering to put in the fire.
I waited for a sign and when it came, it was like a rhythm of an ayahuasca dream.
The serpent is awake,
Is coiling in my tummy and heart,
It is moving and winding, its scales are bright red,
It is getting ready to move up toward my neck,
I’m terrified it is going to swallow me,
It changes into a serpent-like flower,
Changing its colour from red to yellow,
More and more serpent-like flowers are popping around me.
I can hear the Oshun song from the distance,
I am singing it,
I can hear Babalon whispering in my ears,
To understand me, go with Oshun.
At first, Babalon and Oshun look like they have nothing in common. Oshun is the Yellow Lady of the river and sweet waters, to embody the will and the passion to create magic and change, you need to move in a wavelike motion, to be fluid like water.
Babalon rides the flames of the ever-burning fire. If you look closely at the flames, you can see that they have a strange fluidity.
Fire, like water, always has to move, to expand, never standing still.
So both ladies share the same qualities: Oshun, the watery aspect of Babalon, Babalon the fiery aspect of Oshun.
You cannot create magic from still water that lacks fluidity.
You cannot create magic from tamed fire, which will soon burn out and die.
You can read the full story of Fire and Water inNakedTantra by Miryamdevi & Minanath
There are many books on how to do magick, but not so many with stories about actually doing it and what happens. NakedTantra lays bare the inner states of the two brave souls involved in this extended magical work.
An experiment, two people, two countries, one mind, experimenting in tantra meta-magick, cosmic astral travel to the land of no boundaries, looking for the doors of perception.
Of necessity the contents of this grimoire might be considered erotic. And, with that thought in mind, it might also be that the reader is occasionally aroused by our story as it progresses. Some might find this an unwanted intrusion, into what is otherwise an exploration of a magical world. Others we surmise, will take this in good part, accepting that, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. To those who do not share these sensibilities, and are unmoved by what you are about to read, we offer our sincerest apologies.
Mogg Morgan talks to MIRYAMDEVI & MINANATH, pseudonymous authors of NAKEDTANTRA
About The Authors
These are not their real-world names but neither are they false, they emerged in the dialogue. In real life, they both have experience in eastern and western magical styles.
You obviously have chosen to write under names other than those of your birth, which is not uncommon in magical publishing. The story of how you came by your writerly names is told in the book so I won’t spoil the surprise now. Even so, can you introduce yourself and say a little about what you do, your aims and objectives with your writing?
Minanath: When I first met Miryamdevi she called herself a simple “cowgirl”, which immediately brought to mind the Gopi-maidens who trail after Krishna. But then I discovered she really likes Tom Robbins who wrote Even Cowgirls get the Blues. So there’s something in that, but also, what she says about growing up on a farm; she has a certain earthiness and salt of the earth strength.
Another thing that came up when we got into working with the archetype Babalon – who we, or could be Miryamdevi, worked out, is not some rare breed but is in every woman, Miryamdevi is in a very real sense: “Everywoman”.
My name Minanath literally means (lord of) fish, and it seemed appropriate somehow. It is the name of a Hindu magician/mystic from old times. Also known as Matsyendra, Macchendra, and others. His biography can be seen as mythic or real, depending on who you read. I like the version that he worked in the sea, probably as a fisherman, a fairly taboo or lowly profession in India. But somehow he had a revelation and put together much of the spiritual system we know as Tantra. Perhaps it was because of his humble status people applied the story of his getting the wisdom from a secret scroll, written by the god Shiva, and hidden in the belly of one of the fish he caught. Sometimes it is he who ends up in the fish. But sometimes I just think he learned stuff from people he met on the harbour, maybe mariners from distant lands, like Egypt and Greece.
Anyway, my name Minanath is a reference to that guy who lived a long time ago, not thousands of years but long enough. I think magical tantra started or reemerged in India at the same time when things were getting difficult for magicians in Egypt, with the rise of Christianity. To put it romantically, when the light of knowledge was being extinguished in Egypt and the Near East, the torch passed over to India.
Miryamdevi: Miriam (מִרְיָם Mir-yām) is described in the Hebrew Bible as the daughter of Amram and Jochebed and the sister of Moses and Aaron. She was a prophetess and first appears in the Book of Exodus.
It is all in the name actually, the name Miryam suggest the strong connection she had with the sea and water (Yam in Hebrew means sea and the very obvious Mer-Mir). In the Jewish tradition and culture, The Tambourine is widely associated with Miryam and her love for music. Within the circle of Jewish midwifery especially the Israeli ones, Miryam and her mom Jochbed were the first midwives of the Israelites. I relate to all of this as I was born near the sea, I love music and I’m a doula.
The name Miryam is very popular in my family but although all the Miryams’ are very strong women, most of them had very difficult and unhappy lives. When Minanath said that I have to choose a magickal name it didn’t take long for me to understand that I have the chance to take the name Miryam and turn it into a healing name that will heal a long ancestral line of ‘broken Miryams’. Miryam became MiryamDevi and as soon as I started to use it I felt the healing has begun.
Without giving too much away, are you able to say a little more about your family background, ie past and current – ie are you married, children, work – people like a little bit of personal stuff if you ok to share?
I was born in Israel and grew up on the family farm. My dad was a horse breeder so we had lots of horses, I love horses, I love all animals. In my early twenties, I moved to the UK. After my husband died I moved back to Israel. No children. When Mina and I met I was living in Israel. I’m an aromatherapist and a doula.
I always lived in the UK originally from Wales. Divorced with no children. I work in the world of books, selling and occasionally writing them.
Naked Tantra is rather a striking title – can you say that a bit more about that, what does it signify?
The word Naked in this particular connotation – NakedTantra, signifies the naked truth of our practices. NakedTantra is a very intimate and personal book that reveals some secrets about ourselves and the way we do things. When Mina came out with the name NakedTantra I thought it is the perfect name for the book which reveals so much about us. It feels like we are standing naked in front of the reader.
Miryamdevi said it really, although of course, in the first part of the book there is an account of Miryamdevi’s initiation, which like mine a few years back, and like many initiations, requires some nudity as an act of love and trust. There is a fair amount of nakedness in our book. But mostly really it’s what for us is the naked truth – revealing things as we see them. It may not be true for everyone but it is true for us. Perhaps like those energy bars that have no additives, that’s us, pure and honest, as much as it is possible for anyone to remove the mask and record what they did.
Well, that’s the Naked aspect covered. Can you explain something about the Tantrik aspect of the story? Most of our readers will have a general idea of what it means but I think, as there are so many misconceptions, it would be good if you could say what exactly you mean in this context?
Tantra, yes, a massive subject to talk about… The way I see it, it’s all about cycles within cycles, relationships, the balance between physicality and spirituality, SivaSakti and Lingam-Yoni, Yoni-Lingam, Lingam-Lingam, Yoni-Yoni, whatever.. you cannot do all this without some Serpent Power. I think Mina is the person to ask about Tantra for a clearer answer 🙂
What Miryam said is really good. Miryam always has a very down to earth way of expressing things, hopefully, you noticed that in the book. But technically, Tantra is a South Asian, Indian subcontinental esoteric tradition. Like the term Yoga, I think you could translate Tantra with the western term magic, but not everyone will agree and we probably need to argue that more.
In the book Naked Tantra, you list many songs and poems, some of which you wrote or translated yourselves. Are music and poetry very special to you, can you say a little bit about that, why it is so special?
I love music. Music is a big part of my life and there’s always something playing in the background especially when I cook or clean the house, I’ll have the radio on and will sing along and dance to my favourite tunes. I also make lots of playlists. I have playlists that will suit any mood at any time and any day, I’ve got a good ear for mixing tunes and songs and fancy myself as a secret DJ. Music helps me write. It took me ages to write chapter one, I knew what I wanted to say but the words didn’t come out. One day I was listening to the Ganesha mantra and immediately I knew what to write, so I sat down and wrote chapter one. If you read that chapter you’ll see that there are few mantras which are linked to each other, each mantra was like a key that when played the words just came out flowingly without stopping. Poetry is also very special, when Mina and I met we were living in different countries and as we both like to write as much as we like to talk we found ourselves corresponding on a daily basis via emails. Sometimes situations in life can be very lyrical and when I sit down to write about it the words flow out of me in a lyrical rhythm, a poem of sorts some may say. Separation, longing and Karessa can turn one into an enthusiastic poet.
Miryamdevi is the DJ. I like her style. I think we are a little part of a long tradition of mystics such as the troubadours, the Tamil Siddhas, the Bauls etc. Sometimes called courtly love, where the frisson created between two lovers, who are often separated, either by societal rules or physical distance and then their inner fantasies, their emotional energy is sublimated and channelled into poetry and storytelling. So one way or another we did a lot of writing, we still do. We do our magic, as described in the book, and we dream and write, and write and dream. We just hope our readers will enjoy the things we say, be entertained. As they say, first entertain, then educate.
Is the journey in your book, the kind of rituals you describe, would that be for everyone, a beginner or is it only for the expert?
The journey is for anyone that resonates with our story, and the way we practice and dream.
Aleister Crowley, who turned up in our narrative, wrote or channelled “The Law is for All.” So yes, it’s for all. His magick was quite complex but also simple. Some like to talk about elites and special secrets they have, but it’s all out there already really. If it was all so secret we wouldn’t be writing a book about it, and in the tradition, there are thousands of old tantric texts in libraries, why did they write them if not to be read? I suppose the only qualification is the ability to read, understand, dream, do, and become.
What do you think other explorers of this genre would make your work? There are a lot of books already out there, what is it you think you bring to the table that is new?
As I said earlier, the book is about very personal and intimate work. Some might like it and some won’t. Some might say that we lifted the veil of Isis too far … for those, I’ll say “perhaps, but there again, she gives us life”.
Well, we’re not too sure about that. We hope they are entertained. I hope, if there is any shock, it will be of recognition. Some will perhaps question that what we have written, whether we are entitled to say it and whether what we experienced is appropriate. Almost every book these days seems to have to dismiss the connection between western sexual magick and the obscure secrets of real tantra, to dismiss other magicians’ ideas as new age. But then, in the end, these same people will carry on writing about tantra much as we do. So I think we are on the safe ground really, we can argue our corner. And in the end, does it matter? We are part of the same international community of magic that existed in India and Egypt in the past and is with us now. Mystical traditions cannot really be judged, or if they can, it is only by the results, ie pragmatically. Success is becoming.
Ps: I have to say that in the work, Miryamdevi really has, in my opinion, revealed some amazing insights into Jewish magick, something I’ve not seen anywhere before. Or put it this way, although Miryamdevi always denies any formal knowledge of Kabbalah, it just seems to be in her blood, to flow from her naturally. Which is what she says in the book at one moment – women just naturally receive and know these things. I don’t know if this is all women but definitely her.
That’s a lot of questions – can you try and summarise, in a nutshell, the enduring message of this book?
Follow your dreams.
Magic is complex but also simple. It is sometimes said that the gods created the world as a game, remembering how to play, that’s the thing.
Naked Tantra ends on a bit of a cliff-edge – without giving too much away, can you say what happened next in terms of what you are working on now?
Well, it seemed like the right place to stop, although the narrative obviously continues somehow and there are obviously some difficult moments ahead. The story comes to a natural climax, in more ways than one, when we break through our self imposed purdah and come together at a place of obvious power. What happens on the other side of the cliff-edge, that’s in part down to the readers.
What are we doing now? More experiments in the hyperreal – a ritual year and surprise surprise, some angelic conversations, though something very common although at the same time, ignored. It’s the old old story, people look for complexity when what they really need is staring them in the face.
On the longest night of the year, the tribe has gathered for the Winter Solstice ceremony. The Spice is very strong and it doesn’t take long before the doors of perception have opened before us. My ‘mission’ is to raise Babalon. My Babalon working will be like a prayer to raise her power and energy in Everywoman.
I believe that Babalon is Everywoman, but many women deny her existence, some are afraid of her, some are so prudish they truly believe she’s an whore. I embrace my Babalon, she is integrated within me, she is part of me and always was. There was time I didn’t know who she was or what is her name, so I called her “Everywoman”.
I’m Every Woman – A tribute to Whitney Houston
“Whatever you want, whatever you need, anything you want done baby, I’ll do it naturally.”
The ritual and ceremonial music are vibrating in the air but for some strange reason I can’t get out of my head the 80s anthem song by Chaka Khan – “I’m every woman”.
I remember the first time I heard it, the Chaka khan version, and how I thought to myself, what a great song, perfect for me. The song came out in 1978, I was only 10 years old.
In the 90s Whitney Houston took Chaka Khan’s song and made it into an even bigger anthem, a classic that will never go out of fashion, a good party will always have this anthem at the peak of the night. I was a party girl back then, The Ministry of Sound and The Zap Club, were like my second homes. One night at the club, I recall thinking to myself; if “God is a DJ”, “Everywoman ” must be his wife! I didn’t know anything about Babalon or the Scarlet Woman at that time, but an affinity with Everywoman was always part of me.
Whitney Houston was born with the touch of the Red Goddess, she was beautiful, talented and charismatic. It didn’t take long before she became world-famous, she was, and still is, the most awarded female artists, and remains one of the best–selling musicians of all time. Whitney Houston was a goddess, flying high and far, but she couldn’t handle the fire of the Red Goddess, and soon those flames consumed her. After over a decade of meteoric success, she allowed her demons to take over, and she burnt out.
So I toast the first cup of Spice to you Whitney, and to Everywoman out there.
Here She Comes
My mind is racing. I really don’t understand where did all this stuff come from? I’m here at the ceremony and all I can hear is these 80s–90s club anthems playing in my head, and think of Whitney Houston. But then something at the corner of my eye catches my attention. I’m looking but not too sure what I am seeing. It’s a crack in space/time, like in the Dr Who episode “The Crack in the Wall”. I knew it’s her on the other side. I call her, come, enter, my beautiful goddess. Flames burst out of the crack, it can only be her, and there she is – Babalon! She is shining like the sun at sunrise, and the only thing on my mind is the question – Who swallowed the sun? Now as I write it down, it’s a bit obvious, don’t you think? But at the time I just couldn’t see it.
As soon as she enters, I know – Babalon is the librarian of the Library of Babel. I am very pleased with myself and move on to other things. The goddess NewMedia is here too, and she is loading me with information, I need to write all this stuff down, I need to remember it all. I see the connections in everything I do, like synapses that pass electrical surges through a great spider’s web, or was it the WorldWideWeb? Marketing, advertising, books, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing … attention, attention! The system is overloaded. I’m stuck in a loop, thank god it’s time for the second cup.
Shiva is serving the second round of Spice. He has a special gift, he is a master of blessing the Spice, and this time he adds a special boon, a magickal journey. As soon as I drink the second cup of Spice I’m back at the library of Babel. I’m lost in a maze, it’s HER maze, it’s HER LIBRARY! She is not the librarian at all, it’s her library! At the very same moment, I notice a little path that leads to a garden.
The garden is strange, if anything, it looks like another maze, like the library. It’s kind of grey and dusty. I go down the path, thinking to myself “so who swallowed the sun?” At that time I didn’t have a clue. Then another thought crosses my mind – why is this garden is so “forked”? A garden should be light and green, soft and gentle, that word, Gentle, made me stop for a moment, and I rethink it all again. Why is the garden so forked? A garden should be light and green and soft, like The Garden of Eden. The word EDEN in Hebrew means – Gentleness = עדן = EDEN. The path I chose in The Garden of The Forking Paths leads to The Garden of Eden!
This realization made me stop for a moment. I looked at the 9th Gate card that I had brought with me. In the card, which I painted a few days earlier, behind Babalon is the Ninth gate illuminated with the sun’s rays. I look at the card for a while, and as soon as I put it back in my bag, I’m back in The Library of Babel. I look around me, books are floating in the air, staircases spiralling in all directions like some weird Michael Escher picture. Then BANG! The Ninth Gate materializes in front of me in all its glory, and at the same time, the shocking realization; SHE IS THE LIBRARY, SHE IS THE LIBRARY. Another crack appears in space/time. The room is spinning, thunder and lightning, a cacophony of strange and very loud noises. The library has exploded and I’m being sucked into a black hole, what remains of it is spinning around me; books, staircases, labyrinths, forking paths, gardens, all in a mad and chaotic dance, spiralling towards the black hole.
I’m going mad, am I going mad? I know I must look into the crack that grows with each moment, I know who’s coming, but I dare not look. I go down on my knees and try to pray. But only one word comes out of my mouth:
I forgot all the words to the prayer. I can hardly find my voice, all that comes out is a faint mumbling of just one word, the one that makes sense:
Each time I repeat this word, things getting clearer.
The room has stopped spinning.
I can breathe again.
The books and the staircases are still spiralling around me but in very slow motion.
Everything has stopped as it is, books and staircases frozen in a mid spiral in the air. I can hear the beautiful ancient mantra, the sound of the sea, waves on a breezy sunny day, and I remember.
“I believe in one secret and ineffable LORD; and in one star in the company of Stars of whose fire we are created, and to which we shall return; and in one Father of Life, Mystery of Mystery, in His name CHAOS, the sole viceregent of the Sun upon the Earth; and in one Air the nourisher of all that breathes. And I believe in one Earth, the Mother of us all, and in one Womb wherein all men are begotten, and wherein they shall rest, Mystery of Mystery, in Her name BABALON. And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET.”
At this moment the beautiful shamaness comes and crashes on the mattress next to me, she knows nothing of Baphomet, but she understands Chaos. Together we are experiencing The Eternal Moment, we both know that the only time is now, and this now is for eternity. I hug her, whispering in her ear “open your eyes, and call Hir, Baphomet, sHe is already here” and she does and she sees what I see.
“And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET.”
The tribes of the Spice are the tribes of the serpent and the lion (well, the Jaguar really…) Some follow the serpent, some follow the Jaguar, all are drinking the same Spice, both tribes sharing similar ceremonies but different rituals. Baphomet walks among our tribes naturally – which takes me back to the beginning of the journey when I heard Whitney Houston singing in my head the lines “Whatever you want, whatever you need, anything you want done baby, I’ll do it naturally”… Sooo Baphomet…
In the Thoth Tarot, the card Lust, ‘appears the legend of the woman and the lion, or rather lion–serpent’ (The Book of Thoth). Another realization of eternal moment, Babalon rides Baphomet just like the tantric Kali rides Shiva.
“And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET.”
Baphomet is the serpent and the lion, Mystery of mystery; the Fifth Head of the serpent is The Raging Lion!
“The Desire and aspiration of the highest, most spiritual spark of your consciousness is to clothe itself in flesh and personality and to Come Into Being here and now. The purpose of Initiation is not to swap one for the other: it is to open the eyes of both, perceive what is Real, and empower the entire Self to its maximum potential…” (Michael Kelly, Dragonscales)
“The Fifth Head, that of the Raging Lion, is one specifically focused upon Desire, upon passion.” (Michael Kelly, Dragonscales)
With all this in mind, I hear the call for the third cup.
The Third Cup
The third cup is a meditation journey on the sounds and vibrations our Music Master has prepared for us.
The Music Master and I go back a long way. He was there the first time I took the Spice. He taught me how to listen to the vibrations and how to see with my ears. His journeys are my favourite part of these ceremonies, and after a night of illuminated Chaos, I am looking forward to lying down and chilling out on his magickal carpet. The third cup is the cup of the Shamaness. I love this woman with all my heart. We look at each other and smile. I say: “only a little cup for me this time”, she looks at me, smiles back and pours the Spice, a full cup… I drink the blood of the dragon and lie back on the cushions and fly.
The Seven Jewels of the Red Goddess
In the myth of Inanna she descends into the underworld, and meets the guardians of the seven gates, who will not let her pass through unless she leaves one of her jewels in each gate, only then can she proceed into the underworld.
The Seven Jewels are:
The Great Crown
The Wand of Lapis Lazuli
The Jewel Around her Neck
The Jewel On Her Breast
The Belt of Jewels Around Her Hips
The Jewels Around Her Wrists and Ankles
The Jewelled Robes
In his book Dragonscales, Michael Kelly asks what these seven jewels are? On page 125 of Dragonscales, he writes: “As an exercise for further thought and meditation, I would like to throw out the suggestion that the seven jewels of Ishtar are resonant with the Seven Heads of Apep, but in reverse order, with the Jewelled Robes having an affinity with the Head of the Scorpion and the Great Crown having an affinity with the Head of the Typhon. This affinity and this inversion of ordering may be suggestive of one of the secret links between the Lady and the Serpent. Muse upon it…”
I’m flying the magickal journey the Music Master takes us on and musing upon Michael’s riddle. It doesn’t take long and I’m back again at The Garden of the Forking Paths. Now there are new paths ahead of me, and I don’t know which one to follow. There’s a tiny voice in the back of my mind which whispers “Follow Me”… so I follow it down a very narrow and very old path. I love the author Tom Robbins. Back in the 90s, I read quite a few of his books which probably helped a lot to shape the way I think and perceive things. There is something in the myth of Ishtar’s seven jewels that reminds me of something he wrote, but what was it??
The song about Miriam the Prophetess is playing and I remember. In his book ‘Skinny Legs and All’ Tom Robbins writes the story of Salome and The Dance of The Seven Veils. The myth of the Seven Veils Dance and the myth of The Seven Jewels probably are based on the same myth of Inanna/Ishtar. In the original dance of The Seven Veils, those veils come off in the same order as the seven Jewels:
The Veil around Her Face
The Veil around The Shoulders
The Veil Around her Neck 4.
The Veil On Her Breast
The Veil Around Her Hips
The Veil Around Her Wrists and Ankle
The Veil Around her Legs
In the book Skinny Legs and All, Tom Robbins actually does reverse the order in which the veils are coming off Salome:
I’ll try to explain:
The First Veil to come off is the veil around her legs, ‘The Jewelled Robes’, think again what the Jewelled robes might mean… she is dancing and her most precious jewel is unveiled. “Because Veils of ignorance, disinformation, and illusion separate us from that which is imperative to our understanding of our evolutionary journey… The first of those veils conceal the repression of the Goddess, masks the sexual face of the planet…” By taking her Jewelled Robes off first, our Red Goddess has awakened the Serpent, the Typhon, the Kundalini. So, our Salome is dancing and the veils of illusions keep coming off, one by one, unveiling and, abandoning old patterns such as blindness to the wonders of nature, politics, religion, money, death, time.
The Seventh Veil: The Veil around Her Face – The Great Crown – The Head of The Scorpion;
“The illusion of the Seventh Veil was the illusion that you could get somebody else to do it for you. To hang on your cross. Everybody had to take control of their own life, define their own death, and construct their own salvation. And when you finished, you didn’t call the Messiah. He’d call you.” (Skinny Legs and All)
This is all very much in the spirit of the Scorpion Head…
For me the theories of Tom Robbins always make sense. And now it’s nearly the end of the journey and the sun is going to rise any minute. I can just see that at the end of the path I’m journeying, there’s another path to follow (it is the garden of the forking paths after all) but I’m too tired now, maybe next time…
The Great Crown – The Head of The Typhon – Spirituality and awakening. What a Night!
Here Comes The Sun.
“Whatever you want, whatever you need, anything you want done baby, i’ll do it naturally”